Imperial Pacific International Holdings is enjoying a robust revenue for the first half of the year, thanks to its small temporary Saipan casino which generated more profit than Melco Crown Entertainment, operator of four large casino complexes in Macau and Manila.
The HongKong-listed casino operator reported a half-year revenue ofHK$3.99 billion (US$ 514.56 million), 95.7 percent of its revenue coming from Best Sunshine Live casino and resort in Saipan.
Profit for the period was HK$837.3 million Hong Kong dollars ($108 million) compared to a loss of HKD168.8 million (US$ 21.77 million) in the corresponding period of last year.
In a filing before the HongKong Stock Exchange, the firm stated: “The turnaround from loss to profit is mainly attributable to the gaming profit generated by the temporary casino which launched its grand opening on November 27, 2015.”
“We think we have already hit maximum,” Shen Yan, president of global capital markets at Imperial Pacific, said, according to business news Nikkei. With hotel rooms currently hard to come by in Saipan, especially for top-end visitors, Best Sunshine converted a few private homes for use as guest villas and also acquired five yachts. “The utilization rate of our [gaming] tables is very high,” Shen said. “Our accommodations – villas, boats, etc. – are almost full. We have no more room to grow.”
Shen credited Imperial Pacific’s stellar revenue due to fewer taxes Saipan compared to Macau and other Asian countries. He said Best Sunshine pays no gaming tax though it does pay regular business taxes and other fees.
On the other hand, Best Sunshine International Chief Executive Mark Brown attributed the high revenues of the company to the success of its VIP segments.
Data shows that around 500 VIPs from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea had paid 600 visits to the casino during the half-year, according to Imperial. It added that VIP betting volumes hit a high of $3.19 billion in April due to what an official called “one-off” visits by a couple “super VIPs.”
“Because of the yachts that [the VIPs] are staying on, the staterooms, having the private 24-hour chefs and other service, staying at the villas, this is what took [our] numbers to the next level,” he said. “It’s just the overall experience of fishing and scuba-diving and snorkeling and sky-diving, all of the things that go with a beautiful island.”
Meanwhile, Imperial is eyeing to launch its Imperial Pacific Resort in Saipan this coming Chinese New Year. The new gambling facility casino would feature around 200 to 300 gaming tables and 300 to 400 slot machines.
“The board aims to commence opening of the Imperial Pacific Resort by 2017 Chinese New Year with the opening of the hotel tower by the end of March 2017,” Imperial said. “Construction of the town hotel, the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan, Saipan, has been progressing smoothly. An additional US$83 million (equivalent to HKD644.9 million) has been invested in design and construction of this super luxurious resort which has brought the total investment to US$143 million (equivalent to HKD1.11 billion) by the end of first half of 2016.”